Special Needs Planning

 

Caring for an individual with special needs requires patience, dedication, and sometimes unique skills.  And ensuring the continued well-being of your loved one, in the event you are no longer able to provide care, is one of the most important steps you can take.

 

Mark is the parent of a special needs child. He knows first hand what it takes to care for a child with special needs. Mark knows that by laying the groundwork early and taking advantage of available resources, you can minimize the worry of caregiving and enjoy its rewards.

 

 Questions for Parents:

  • Is there a plan in place that will assure the special needs child's well being following the death or disability of the primary caregivers?
  • Who will be there to provide emotional support and protect the financial and legal rights of the child?
  • Do I have a Special Needs or Supplemental Needs trust in place to protect the future of all my children?
  • Have government programs and charitable organizations been considered as sources of assistance?
  • Will government cutbacks affect my child currently on waivers or SSI?
  • Will government assistance continue to keep up with soaring medical costs?
  • Will I be able to control my child's quality of life?
  • Did you consider the needs of all the other family members when planning the future of your special needs child?
  • Would you like to meet with a financial planner that can help you alleviate all your concerns and plan for your entire family's future?

Caring for an individual with special needs requires patience, dedication, and sometimes unique skills.  And ensuring the continued well-being of your loved one, in the event you are no longer able to provide care, is one of the most important steps you can take.

Mark is the parent of a special needs child.  He knows first hand what it takes to care for a child with special needs.  Mark knows that by laying the groundwork early and taking advantage of available resources, you can minimize the worry of caregiving and enjoy its rewards.

As your financial adviser, Mark strives for high standards, building and implementing financial strategies that will stand the test of time, and will help you and your family achieve long-term financial security.  When choosing a financial professional, look to the place where tradition lives and values matter.

If you're a parent of one of the six million school-age disabled children in the U.S. today,1 you know that job can be even more challenging, especially financially.  Costs often include special residential homes, employment assistance, and more.  And these are typically ongoing expenses for you and your family.

If you are a parent or caregiver for a disabled loved one, you can help meet expenses and ensure quality care through two primary govenment programs designed to meet your unique needs:  Supplement Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.  SSI provides cash benefits to help you pay for a loved one's food, shelter and clothing.  SSI also automatically makes your loved one eligible (and, in some states, qualified) for Medicaid.  Through SSI your disabled loved one may be eligible for other benefits as well, depending on what state you live in.  Medicaid provides comprehensive coverage of medical care, physical therapists, social programs, and rehabilitative and custodial services.

However, the govenment puts conditions on any benefits you receive:  efforts may not be duplicated.  Government money is provided on an "as-needed" basis.  If your disabled loved one receives outside funding for covered services, government support  is reduced.  Therefore, you may be limited in what you can "spend" on - or leave to - your loved one.

That's why you may want to consider creating a Special Needs Trust.  Trusts can offer you a way to help meet ongoing needs and supplement basics without affecting a loved one's eligibility for government funding.  A Special Needs Trust can also help provide continued care if you pass away.

  • Structuring Your Trust - You should consult with an estate planning attorney who is knowledgeable about Special Needs Trusts to find out how it works and how it can be tailored to best suit your loved one's individual situation and preferences.
  • Funding a Special Needs Trust - The funding vehicle you select for your Special Needs Trust can have a dramatic impact to the amount of resources available for your loved one.  Investments or other financial resources can potentially multiply the value of your trust fund over the years.  But at the same time, today's fluctuating market and evolving tax laws can lessen the value of these savings.  Permanent life insurance is a vehicle that can provide a guaranteed death benefit as well as a host of short- and long-term advantages.  These include the oppportunity to accumulate cash value for the future, tax-deferred, and the ability to access cash value through withdrawals and loans to help meet expenses over the years.In addition, since the face amount of the policy is often greater than the premium cost, the amount your beneficiary receives down the road could be multiplied.  In other words, with life insurance, every dollar may go a long way.

Your New York Life agent can provide you with more information on how life insurance can help meet the needs of Special Needs individuals.

1 NEA: National Education Association, Great Public Schools for Every Child, "Special Education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act," see www.nea.org.

2 Loans and withdrawals reduce any available policy cash values.  In addition, loans against a policy accrue interest at the current reate and decrease the death benefit by the amount of the outstanding loan and interest.

Helpful Links For Individuals With Disabilities:

http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/. ~ Providing programs designed to provide income and support to individuals who cannot work due to permanent disability.

Iowa Protection and Advocacy ~ Representation for Iowans with disabilities or mental illness.

Iowa Department of Human Services ~ Programs and assistance for individuals with disabilities.

 

 

 

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